A website’s design has a lot to do with how successful it is. A poorly designed website can be an absolute nightmare for visitors, leading to low conversion rates and unhappy customers.
The numbers make it even more evident. Website users take 0.05 seconds to form an opinion about a website, and 94% of those decisions are design-related. At the same time, 38% of people leave an unattractive website, reveals a study by Social Media Today.
In other words, people will judge your site based on the quality and the user experience you are providing for them. Additionally, Google is boosting the importance of user experience as a ranking factor year after year.
These and several other factors contribute to making web design a vital ingredient to include in your SEO techniques and overall user experience strategies to improve rankings effectively.
When it comes to design, there are principles of design to keep in mind, impacting conversion rates.
A well-designed website will help visitors find what they’re looking for with minimal effort, and it also makes the site easy to navigate. As you can imagine, this leads to increased customer satisfaction and higher conversions.
For example, if your design is made using readable fonts and scannable text, it can improve your site usability by 47%, and 54% prefer a personalized design and experience.
On the other hand, some design flaws that look tiny might have a considerable impact on the website’s success.
This post will discuss seven design flaws that you should avoid when designing your site or sites for your clients.
Let’s get started!
Avoid having too much text on the homepage of a website. This can be problematic for some users trying to figure out what exactly they need from your website and cause them to exit the site.
You should place pertinent information on your homepage, which is clear and well-written.
If you want a quick way to design a beautiful website with the right amount of text and images on the homepage, you could use a website builder. Most popular website builders like Wix or Weebly have tons of templates designed with user experience conversion in mind.
Visitors should understand what your website is about within a few seconds of arriving on it. Most site owners try to do this by placing too much information initially, ending up confusing their visitors.
Another design flaw to avoid is not providing enough white space on a web page. This can make the website feel overcrowded and overwhelming, which might cause people to exit before they explore it anymore.
Here is an example of not enough white space used on a site. For sure, you don’t want any of your sites looking like this.
On the other hand, too much white space can also be a problem because it might make your site feel outdated. You need to make this decision based on the niche of your website.
Minimalism is a design trend that is becoming more and more used by bloggers and website owners, but it is only working and creating the desired effect if done correctly. Too much white space with no directions or instructions, looking too cryptic, will leave visitors with too many questions.
Here is an example on how famous brands use white space to create an impact on the main elements.
Another thing you can do is make use of negative space, which is when a design doesn’t include any content on certain parts of the page and leaves it blank or just with background color such as black. This helps draw in readers’ eyes because they know that more sections are coming.
A navigation menu is a must for any website, but you have to make sure that it’s easy to use and well-designed. You can’t just put links in a long list; they need to be organized so that users know where they are at all times.
The most common ways of doing this are by using drop-down menus or limiting the number of links in a row to four.
You also need to make sure that the navigation menu is mobile-friendly, so it doesn’t take up too much space on smaller screens, and users can easily reach all of the links no matter how small their screen size is.
A good idea is to use animated navigation bars, such as elements that flash, roll, and move while users are exploring different elements of your website. Use animation with user experience in mind if you have to; some of the best website builders have custom templates, and they are typically designed not to be invasive.
Another thing you should consider when designing your website navigation, especially when using online store builders, is the location of your shopping cart. Part of creating a perfect shopping cart checkout means that it should be easily accessible from anywhere on the site, not just on a single page (like “checkout”).
Your navigation menu hugely impacts the user experience and, subsequently, the SEO of your website. It’s essential to take the time when designing your website and do it right.
You want to make sure that there is a high enough contrast between text, background color, and any other design elements to enhance readability for all audiences. Readability affects how well people can find and understand information on the page.
The contrast should be high enough to provide ample visibility for people with low visual acuity (vision impairment) or those using devices like screen readers that rely on color contrast and captioning as the only way to convey textual content.
To make sure you are providing ample room for contrast, consider the following:
Getting lots of traffic on your website is of no use if you can’t convert them. One of the most conversion-focused elements of web design is the call-to-action buttons.
Some of the most common mistakes people make with call to action buttons are:
Here is an example of a too confusing button that doesn’t stand out from the rest of the page:
A button should look clickable, so users don’t have to try to figure out which part of the page is the one with the link. But, how do you make a button looking clickable?
A button is a visual presentation, and it may look more clickable when there are effects or bright colors added. For example, buttons with shadows effects or a slight color gradient trigger visitors to click on them. Another example could be to design the button edges with a round form and use a different color for the button’s borders.
Button and background colors should look contrasting so that the call-to-action stands out from the rest of the page. Finally, when it comes to design, you have to test your CTA buttons constantly.
In a website, hierarchy is just as important as it would be on the ground. You need to help your visitors find their way around and not get lost in all the information you provide.
Your site should have clearly defined sections of how the site is structured, and where to find information inside the pages.
A site hierarchy is how the pages are arranged from the menu and how they go deeper into the site following a series of menus organized based on easy-to-understand and follow logic.
A confusing site will turn people away as fast as they come in. Users must be able to find what they are looking for very fast. A navigation menu that is hard to find is a common web design mistake. A bit site without a site map is another example of an error.
Fill space with content that can help organize the information and make your site more user-friendly for navigation purposes.
When you use photos and graphics, they need to communicate your thoughts and contribute to the overall message of the page or post and help the visitor navigate the site. Using low-quality and irrelevant images can be very confusing and make your site look cheap.
The wrong image format may be confusing and give a bad look to your site when it is seen through a mobile or other devices. Visitors may be wondering what you are trying to communicate and leave the site. A menu should be:
Visitors don’t want to search all over the page just to find what they are looking for, so you must take care of this issue before it becomes a problem. Some elements like the table of contents, internal links, and drop-down menus can help with this.
Modern-day web designs come with multiple creative logo placements for maximum impact. But if you’re not careful, your logo can become a visual distraction.
The best way to prevent this is by paying attention to the location of your company’s name and brand on the page. You want it placed in an area with high visibility but minimal interference for site visitors scrolling through content or scanning pages.
Ensure that your logo is in a place that doesn’t interfere with the navigation menu and is nicely designed. If you want to build a creative website, keep the navigation simple, making the website more user-friendly. Based on research, it’s way more difficult for website users to find the homepage when the logo is centered.
Place the logo to the left as an ideal spot for brand recognition and user experience. However, even if you put it on the left, you still have to make sure it is ideal. If your logo is too large, it can create a lot of extra space above the navigation bar and make the home page look messy.
When possible, the logo should have a transparent background to blend better with your website colors. Ideally, you would use a horizontal format. In this way, it looks better on the navigation bar and will take up less space.
If you are not sure about the design and how your headers and logos should look like, you could use website development tools to test different looks and designs or use pre-made templates if you need.
Poorly placed logos do more harm than good and might irritate your visitors to the point where they leave your site without clicking on anything.
When building a website, these are some design flaws you should avoid at all costs. Be mindful of how logos and branding will look when placed on the page because they can irritate visitors scrolling through content or scanning pages.
You want to build brand awareness without annoying your visitors. Other elements such as stock photos and advertisements should also be avoided.
Several other elements, such as improving your website’s lighthouse performance, also contribute to making a user-friendly website. The best way to avoid these flaws is by testing your site for overall user experience with a UX audit before it goes live.
Author Bio: Martin Luenendonk is a 3x serial entrepreneur with a deep passion in digital business models and marketing innovations. He is the Founder at cleverism.com and founderjar.com
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